440 it full. The hens were moving about between th,e house and the bluffside, pecking fastidiously, now and then, at the wet grass. Just before they reached the porch, Mr. Munn stopped, "Bill Christian is dead," he said quietly. "He died four days ago." " Last night," Willie Proudfit exclaimed, " last night she said he was gitten on I" " He is dead. That was one of the things she came to tell me." " Dead," Willie Proudfit repeated, as though bringing the thought to slow realization, "and me sayen what I said." Then he added: " Hit makes a man feel lak dirt, inside. Sayen them things. Thinken 'em." " It's all right," Mr. Munn said. They went on, into the kitchen. At breakfast nobody talked much. Adelle Proudfit talked some, and Lucille Christian, but the others were silent. To- ward the end of the meal they, too, became silent. Lucille Christian's face was very pale, and the skin seemed to be drawn painfully tight across the bone. After breakfast Sylvestus, who was to take Lucille Christian to the railroad at Ashby's Crossing, went to the stable to harness the horse. The others remained seated at the table for a little while longer, and then went out to the front porch to wait for him. He drove the buggy to the gate, got out and hitched the horse, and approached the porch, where the others were standing in silence. When he came up, Lucille Christian, looking over the fields that lay along the creek, said almost casually, "Well, we did get a little rain, after all." Standing on the ground just at the edge of the porch before her, Sylvestus abruptly struck the toe of his shoe into the earth, and stared down at the scar he had made. " Hit ain't nuthen," he returned. " Hit ain't more'n laid the dust. Hit ain't cleaned air leaf in the field." " I thought it might help a little," she replied.